Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Slice of Nelson

I love to leave, because I love to come back. I love the experience of missing people, places and comforts, and returning to them with a new appreciation.

Going home this summer was my first chance to really miss Nelson, and all the aspects of my life here—a fun job, amazing food, a comfortable home, and friends!!

One of those friends is Darby Jack. She's a local entrepreneur, single handedly filling the void left by Live Food Bar with her amazing raw sweets. Sweet Summer Raw Confections can be found at the Kootenay Co-op (where we both work!).

Last week, she came over and made a mess of my kitchen. I got to take pictures and eat cake, with great appreciation


Darby Jack, owner and operator of Sweet Summer Raw Confections in Nelson, B.C.

I live underneath Elephant Mountain, on the shores of Kootenay Lake, in a two-bedroom mountain refuge with my partner Will and our canine progeny: a dainty princess-like Maltese named Muppet and a crotchety 7-pound Yorkie named Buster.

Raw cooking has always fascinated me, and I am a lifelong advocate for animals and cruelty-free eating. I particularly love the way whole ingredients magically come together to create healthful, flavour-rich desserts.

After studying under renowned raw chef Mark Reinfeld in Portland and working as a raw cook at Cafe Bliss in Victoria, I’ve decided to create my own line of decadent desserts. Nelson has been an amazingly supportive community in this endeavour, and has great resources for young business owners. I’m really excited for things to continue to blossom.


An Earl Grey and lemon cheesecake topped with young coconut whipped cream. I threw in some sweet, ripe strawberries too for a colourful surprise when the cake is cut.

This cake should be served on it’s own or with a few dried lemon slices and perhaps a drizzle of honey. Enjoy it in your favourite nook, blanket in lap, with a slumbering canine curled at your feet. Obviously a cup of hot tea is necessary.


I’ve been making cakes using beautiful, fresh berries and fruit all summer so I’ve been looking forward to exploring fall flavours. I’m really feeling pumpkin, plums, cranberries, and warm spices right now.

I’m in love with hot, lemony tea inside on a cool drizzly day so earl grey seemed perfect for an autumn cheezecake. I added some little strawberries to pay homage to the last fruits of summer and to cut through the Earl Grey colour like autumn leaves against a grey sky.

The young coconut whip cream’s pillowy-soft, creamy peaks pair perfectly with this cozy time of year.




  • 2 cups fresh young coconut meat 
  • 2 cups soaked cashews 
  • 1/2 cup honey- or to taste 
  • 1/3 cup cacao butter- melted 
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil 
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter 
  • 1 cup coconut milk, almond milk or coconut water 
  • 1 tsp. powdered vanilla 
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon 


1. Blend everything in a high speed blender.
2. Allow cream to sit in the fridge for 2-3 hours, until set.

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